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The success of virtual docking stations


As a residential city with complicated geography spread over a large area, Vantaa was interested in offering its residents access to different means of public transport for connection with Helsinki. The service needed to minimise investment while allowing considerable flexibility for the creation of docking stations with no infrastructure costs. A choice was therefore made to opt for virtual stations.

The challenge

The project for the city of Vantaa posed a serious integration challenge by asking us for a service that uses virtual docking stations instead of physical ones, requiring totally different hardware and software to combine the best traditional dock base and free-floating technologies to produce something that had not been seen before.

The Inurba solution

A so-called “fourth generation” technology solution was used in Vantaa, which allows a bicycle to be returned after use at a conventional bike rack by locking it with the built-in cable. Access to the bikes is gained via the service app and the travel card. 100 virtual stations were defined to enable bicycle return with bike racks and 1,000 bicycles were deployed.

The impact

Integration is a complex and highly laborious process but, once perfected, improves the user experience and facilitates management because there is only one register, one promotion and communication department, one customer service department, etc. This degree of integration is only possible when the operator works together with the local authorities from the moment a contract is signed, even before implementation takes place. When that happens, successful integration is guaranteed.

The impact was to offer Vantaa a micro mobility service tailored to its characteristics and aimed at providing its citizens with access to different means of public transport for connecting with Helsinki without having to use private transportation and increasing the flexibility of access to bicycles via virtual stations.

Key figures


virtual service stations


mechanical bicycles


subscribers in 2020


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